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Local News Powered by First Bank Richmond Archives for 2019-07

Eaton Woman Found Guilty of Child Neglect Resulting in the Death of Eleven Month Old

A judge has found a woman from Eaton guilty of neglect that resulted in the death of an eleven-month-old boy.  Catherine Adkins is 34-years-old and faces at least 30 years in prison.  Judge David Kolger convicted Adkins after a bench trial.  Prosecutors say she was high on marijuana while she was caring for Kameron Swann at a Richmond apartment four years ago.  The boy died from a head injury.  Adkins told police she tripped while carrying the child.

Child Neglect and Abuse Deaths are on the Rise in Indiana

The Indiana Department of Child Services says child neglect and abuse deaths increased during fiscal year 2017 – that’s the most recent year in which statistics are available.  A new report says 65 child deaths in Indiana that year resulted directly from abuse or neglect. That’s up from 59 deaths in fiscal year 2016.  Forty-five of the 65 fatalities involved children 3 years old or younger. The report found that the most common neglect-related child deaths were related to kids being left unattended near water or a caregiver’s failure to provide safe sleeping arrangements.

MAN KILLED IN PREBLE COUNTY CRASH

(Preble County, OH)--There was a fatal accident Sunday in Preble County.  Investigators say a man now identified as 43-year-old Wesley Bradley of West Alexandria lost control of his pickup on East Lexington Road.  The truck went into a guardrail and then overturned off a bridge and into a small creek.  Bradley was pronounced dead at the scene.  The investigation into the cause of the crash continues.

VERIZON STORES ROBBED IN EATON, OXFORD

(Eaton, OH)--Two armed robbers appear to have struck two area Verizon stores in the last two days.  On Saturday, two men entered Oxford’s Verizon store armed with handguns and took phones and cash.  Then, on Sunday, two men matching the description did the same thing at the Verizon in Eaton.  Witnesses said they fled west in a brown pickup truck toward Richmond.  No one was hurt in either robbery.  The suspects are described only as black males in their mid-20’s.

RICHMOND TEEN IN CUSTODY FOR SEVERE BEATING

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond teen was in custody Monday morning after allegedly severely beating a female victim at his home in the 200 block of South 13th Street on Sunday night.  Scanner traffic indicates that 18-year-old Dakota Mills was beating the victim outside, then dragged her inside.  Felony charges against Mills include strangulation, criminal confinement, and domestic battery.  The condition of the victim has not been released.

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT ISSUES STATEMENT ABOUT CAGED DOG

(Cambridge City, IN)--The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department commented Thursday night on a photo that has been widely shared on social media.  The photo shows a dog placed in what appears to be a rabbit cage along the side of Goose Heaven Road near Cambridge City.  Sheriff Randy Retter indicated Thursday night that the situation was investigated and that the dog was found to be healthy and well cared for.  A farmer said he placed the dog in the cage to protect his sweet corn from raccoons.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN RICHMOND THURSDAY

(Richmond, IN)--A presidential candidate was scheduled to be in Richmond Thursday morning.  Chances are that you haven’t heard of Ken Armstrong, who is running as a Libertarian.  Armstrong has a lengthy military resume, including serving as the commander of a NATO base in Italy.  He was in Richmond Thursday on what his campaign calls a “Healing Tour.”  Details of exactly where Armstrong would be in Richmond were not provided.

COMMISSIONERS REJECT INDOT'S U.S. 40 PROPOSAL

(Wayne County, IN)--Thanks, but no thanks.  That was the message from Wayne County Commissioners Wednesday to leaders of INDOT about a proposal to change U.S. 40 between Richmond and Centerville that would’ve converted the highway to one lane in each direction with a turn lane in the middle.  Wayne County Commissioners unanimously rejected the idea Wednesday.  The plan was overwhelmingly unpopular among citizens, business owners, and town boards in Richmond, Centerville, and Cambridge City.  INDOT is still scheduled to repave much of 40 between Richmond and Centerville next year.

SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION TALKS TO RESUME NEXT MONTH

(Wayne County, IN)--On the 22nd of next month, leaders of three Wayne County schools will meet again to talk about potential consolidation.  The idea is to consolidate some elements of Northeastern, Nettle Creek, and Western Wayne School, but keep all buildings open in each community.  There are a couple of reasons that the idea is being considered.  First, it would allow more options for students.  Secondly, consolidating administrative services would result in a large cost saving.  There are also grants available to help schools in areas with declining population, like Wayne County.

AREA OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS TOP 56,000 IN 2018 4th QUARTER

(Whitewater Valley)--New numbers show the number of area residents who have had opioid prescriptions.  In the last quarter of last year, in a six-county area that includes Wayne, Union, Fayette, Franklin, Randolph, and Henry County, there were a total of 56, 707 opioid prescriptions written.  That’s roughly one prescription written for every three residents in that six-county area.  Wayne County has far and away the most, with just over 19,000 opioid prescriptions written in the fourth quarter of last year.

AREA UNEMPLOYMENT INCREASES

(Whitewater Valley)--There’s been a jump in unemployment across the Whitewater Valley.  Every Indiana county is our area has seen rates rise by about a half-percent in the last month.  Fayette County now has the highest unemployment in the state at 4.7%.  Wayne County’s rate has risen to 3.6%, with 152 more people now counted as unemployed.  Also, Wayne County has 512 fewer people working than were at this time last year.  Rates for the Ohio counties in our area come out Tuesday.

ARMED ROBBER SENTENCED

(Richmond, IN)--A man who used a knife to rob the Conoco gas station last fall has been handed a 12-year prison sentence.  39-year-old Chad Capps of Richmond not only admitted to armed robbery, but also that he’s a habitual offender.  That designation effectively doubled Capps’ sentence.  He has a criminal record that includes convictions for attempted robbery and burglary, three OWI’s, and one for marijuana possession.

DARKE COUNTY COURTHOUSE EVACUATED

(Greenville, OH)--The Darke County Courthouse had to be evacuated on Monday.  Dust from construction set off fire alarms.  Although there was no fire, firefighters discovered that there dangerous levels of carbon monoxide throughout the building as the result of gas-powered equipment that was being used inside.  The courthouse was ventilated and its occupants were allowed to return.  No one reported any illness from the carbon monoxide.

MONDAY MARKS 18-YEAR POINT SINCE NIQUI McCOWN DISAPPEARANCE

(Richmond, IN)--Monday is a somber day for the family of Niqui McCown.  It was on this day 18 years ago that Niqui went missing after being seen last at a Richmond laundry business.  Niqui’s family has posted messages in the last 24 hours on a Facebook page dedicated to her disappearance and called for anyone with information in her case to come forward.  The man most consider the prime suspect in her disappearance is dead.  Tommy Swint committed suicide in Alabama.  He had had a relationship with Niqui and was suspected in the murders of several women.

ARREST APPEARS IMMINENT IN TEEN'S 1986 DISAPPEARANCE

(Connersville, IN)--A nationally renowned forensic psychologist has been in Connersville over the past couple of weeks to help arrest whoever is responsible for the disappearance of Denise Pflum, who went missing back in 1986.  Richard Walter is a former employee of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office.  Now, according to the News Examiner, local law enforcement thinks they have finally found the person who murdered Denise Pflum.  No arrests have been made yet.  But Walter told the person who did it through the News Examiner to not buy any green bananas, because they’re not going to have time to ripen.

BOTH BROTHERS DEAD ONE YEAR AFTER IU EAST, RESERVOIR MANHUNT

(Richmond, IN)--It was a year ago this weekend that two accused child molesters who are brothers led police on a massive manhunt through the woods around IU East and Middlefork Reservoir in Richmond.  Alan Estep was found dead after hanging himself in the woods as police closed in.  His brother, Charles, is also now dead.  Charles Estep hung himself in a central Indiana jail cell before he could be brought to trial.

MAN SURRENDERS ON CHARGE OF OWI CAUSING DEATH

(Wayne County, IN)--A 47-year-old man turned himself into the Wayne County Jail over the weekend and is now charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death.  Jeffrey Flora was allegedly operating a motorcycle under the influence in February on Dalton Road in northwestern Wayne County with Shelby Masters of Hagerstown riding on the back.  Masters was killed when the motorcycle went off the side of the road.

MORE COOLING CENTERS OPEN

(Richmond, IN)--More locations are being suggested as cooling centers as the excessive heat warning remains in place across the Whitewater Valley.  In Richmond, those locations include fire stations, the Red Cross, the Senior Center, and several libraries.  While it will be hot today, it’s not even remotely close to as hot as it’s ever been in Richmond.  Friday’s forecast high of 93 is not even in the top 250 hottest days in Richmond historically.  The city has hit 100 degrees 38 times, but we’ll be well short of that.  Richmond’s highest temperature ever was on July 22 of 1901, when it hit 108 degrees.

DOGS LABELED VICIOUS

(Richmond, IN)--Three dogs that had been involved in two separate incidents in recent months were labeled as vicious Thursday by the Richmond Board of Public Works.  One dog jumped a fence and attacked a man on Sheridan Street.  Two other dogs broke free from their tethers, killed three dogs, and seriously injured an elderly woman.  The dogs will not be euthanized, but the vicious label means their owner must take several steps to get them back.  Those steps include keeping them in locked pens and having $100,000 in insurance.

EATON MAN ARRESTED FOR STABBING HIS MOTHER

(Eaton, OH)--There was a stabbing in Eaton on Thursday.  Xavier Miller was arrested and charged with stabbing his own mother in a domestic dispute.  The incident took place at a home on West High Street.  Miller was taken into custody a few blocks away.  The victim was taken to a local emergency room to be treated for what were thought to be non-life-threatening injuries.

HEAT PROMPTS OPENING OF COOLING CENTERS

(Richmond, IN)--With a few hot days headed our way, the Richmond Fire Department is offering relief to those who need it.  RFD announced that Fire Station #1 on South A Street and Fire Station #5 on West Main will be open to the public as cooling centers.  The fire stations will be open from 2 until 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.  Other area communities are offering similar assistance.  In Winchester, the public pool will open with free admission.

WESTERN WAYNE SEWER REJECTS $500,000 OFFER

(Cambridge City, IN)--A half-million-dollar offer to help the Western Wayne Sewer District from Wayne County Commissioners has been unanimously rejected.  The offer was made to help with the construction of more wastewater treatment capacity to allow for expansion at the Gateway Industrial Park.  The Sewer Board refused the offer because several conditions were attached to it.  Those conditions included allowing commissioners to appoint four members to the sewer board.  The entire project is now expected to cost in excess of $15 million.

BABY TAKEN TO REID AS RESULT OF DOMESTIC DISPUTE

(Richmond, IN)--A ten-month-old child was taken to Reid Health as the result of a domestic dispute at the Green Meadows Trailer Park on U.S. 40 between Richmond and Centerville on Wednesday.  Scanner traffic indicated a couple was arguing and began shaking the baby.  One of the parents went outside and called 911.  Officers arrived and arrested 27-year-old Brittany Cox, who lists a Tennessee address.  She was in jail Thursday morning, charged with felony neglect of a dependent.

CENTERVILLE OPPOSES PROPOSED U.S. 40 CHANGE

(Centerville, IN)--A meeting was held Tuesday between INDOT representatives and local leaders about the proposal to reduce U.S. 40 to one lane in each direction with a turn lane in the middle between Richmond and Centerville.  Three of five members of Centerville Town Council indicated Tuesday that they opposed the project.  Richmond Police officials have also indicated they see it as unnecessary, and Cambridge City residents overwhelmingly rejected it.  Wayne County Commissioners are expected to take up the issue July 24.

AREA TO GET FIRST SAFE HAVEN BABY BOX

(Connersville, IN)--The Whitewater Valley is getting its first Safe Haven Baby Box.  That’s the name given to a place where a parent who cannot or will not care for a baby can leave that infant.  Baby Boxes are usually at fire stations.  The Connersville Board of Works this week gave its support to Baby Box and will now work with the Connersville Fire Department to come up with a specific location.  Fundraising efforts are now underway by the Hope Center.  There are nine other Baby Boxes in Indiana, but none anywhere near Richmond or Connersville.

RICHMOND MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORN, CHILD SOLICITATION

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed Tuesday afternoon on charges that include felony child solicitation, possession of child pornography, and inappropriate contact with a minor.  But, he quickly posted bond and was free Wednesday morning.  20-year-old Tyler Hudon, who lives in the 2100 block of South 16th, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at RPD headquarters.  Details of what Hudon allegedly did will not become available until an affidavit is filed in court.

FAYETTE REGIONAL OFFICIALLY BECOMES REID HEALTH CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--Fayette Regional Health System is now Reid Health Connersville.  Some of the staff members from Richmond’s Reid were on hand at 12:01 Tuesday morning when the switch became official.  There were also welcoming activities for Connersville employees Tuesday morning who have remained through the switch.  Before Tuesday morning, Fayette Regional had operated independently in Connersville for 106 years.

DRAKE NOT JAILED IN WAYNE, SURROUNDING COUNTIES OVER WEEKEND

(Hagerstown, IN)--There have been no significant developments over the weekend in the case of Tom Drake, the long-time Hagerstown teacher and coach who now faces a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old female student.  Drake was not jailed in Wayne or any surrounding county over the weekend.  Nettle Creek Schools is also not commenting on the issue, including whether or not other girls have similar allegations.  The alleged victim told investigators that she had seen Drake stare at other girls inappropriately.  A male witness told investigators that many students in class knew about Drake’s behavior and commonly talked about it.  Drake is now 68 years old and taught at Hagerstown for 40 years.

FAYETTE REGIONAL NAME CHANGE GOES INTO EFFECT TUESDAY

(Connersville, IN)--Monday is the day that Reid Health is expected to complete the acquisition of the assets of Fayette Regional Health System.  And, on Tuesday, the hospital will take the new name “Reid Health Connersville”.  In preparation for the changeover, Reid has released a list of services it will provide.  Those include an around-the-clock emergency department, radiology, and lab services but no birthing center.  Nearly 200 fewer people are now officially employed at the hospital than were back in May, although many of those positions are still in the rehiring process.

COUPLE WITH LENGTHY CRIMINAL RECORDS ARRESTED MONDAY MORNING

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond couple with a long criminal history is facing a new round of charges after being arrested Monday morning.  35-year-old Jacob Lowery and 27-year-old Heather Capps were captured near North 13 and E Street early Monday morning.  Charges for both today include dealing both heroin and methamphetamine.  Lowery has 66 previous criminal charges just in Wayne County.  Capps has 15 previous charges, including multiple charges for drug-dealing.

AFFIDAVIT DETAILS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HAGERSTOWN TEACHER, COACH

WARNING: ARTICLE CONTAINS SENSITIVE SUBJECT MATTER THAT MAY BE TRIGGERING TO SOME INDIVIDUALS! 

 

(Hagerstown, IN)--On Friday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point obtained the affidavit that details the allegations against long-time Hagerstown teacher and coach William Tom Drake.  A warrant has been issued through Wayne Circuit Court for Drake's arrest on the charge of Sexual Misconduct With A Minor But Committed By A Person At Least 21 Years Old.  What follows is the complete affidavit filed through Wayne Circuit Court.

Jack Leverton affirms that he has probable cause to believe that William T. Drake has
committed the criminal offense of Sexual Misconduct With A Minor, I.C. 35-42-4-9(b)(1),
a Level 5 Felony and that said probable cause consists of the following facts, to-wit:
Affiant states that he is employed as an officer With the Hagerstown Police Department
and became involved in an investigation involving the defendant named herein, William
T. Drake.


Affiant states that this Affidavit 0f Probable Cause is intended not as a complete recital 0f
all material facts relevant to this investigation but is made solely for the purpose of
establishing probable cause.


On February 28, 2019, I, Officer J. Leverton, responded to Hagerstown Jr./Sr. High
School located at 701 Baker Road in Hagerstown, Wayne County, Indiana. Upon
arrival, I spoke with Principal Dave Tyner and Asst. Principal Emily Schaeffer. They
advised that a female student, Victim 1, age 14, reported that a male teacher, William T.
Drake engaged in inappropriate, unwanted sexual contact with Victim 1.


Victim 1 reported that she has caught Mr. Drake on numerous occasions stating at her
body, specifically her butt, while in class. Victim 1 stated that Mr. Drake would stare at
her in a manner she described as sexual in nature. Victim 1 stated that Mr. Drake would
look up and down her body and would look down her shirt when Victim 1 was talking to
him. Victim 1 advised that she has observed Mr. Drake stare at other girls in the same
manner while in school. Victim 1 further reported that Mr. Drake rubbed his front side
on her butt in a sexual manner at the Snowball Dance. Victim 1 advised that Mr. Drake
was constantly touching Victim 1 an inappropriate amount prior to the Snowball Dance
as well.


The DCS Hotline was contacted by the School Principal upon receiving Victim 1's report.
I confirmed this With the local DCS Office. I was advised not to speak With Victim 1 until
a DCS caseworker could speak with her.


I was thereafter contacted by Kathy Hodge, DCS Case worker. She stated that she went
CASE NUMBER: 89C01-1907-F5-000075 FILED: 7/8/2019 to the school and spoke with Victim 1. At that time, she had no plans to have a JACY House interview with Victim 1. She did however contact Mr. Drake. Mr. Drake agreed to speak with her on Monday, March 11, 2019 at the Hagerstown Police Department.


On March 11, 2019, DCS interviewed Mr. Drake at the Police Station. After the
interview, DCS advised there would be no further investigation into this matter, unless
additional information comes forward.


On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, Victim 1 provided more detailed accusations concerning
William Drake.


On Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at approximately 1:00 PM, I attended a JACY House
interview of Victim 1 performed by Amanda Wilson. Victim 1 again stated that Mr.
Drake would stop her by his desk and look at her up and down and continue to look at
her butt as she walked away. Victim 1 stated that this class was prior to her lunch period.
She stated that sometimes Mr. Drake would touch her butt as she walked out. She stated
she would make an effort to get out of the classroom before Mr Drake could touch her.
She stated that when she was able to do this, Mr. Drake would treat her differently.
During the JACY House interview, Victim 1 stated the first incident occurred at the
Hagerstown Jr./Sr. High School Snowball Dance on or about December 8, 2018 in
Hagerstown. She stated that, during the dance, Mr. Drake put his hands on Victim 1's
hips and slowly, but aggressively, pushed his privates onto her butt.


Victim 1 then reported that, sometime after the Snowball Dance but before to the end of
February, she was alone in a classroom With Mr. Drake. Victim 1 advised that Mr. Drake
told another student, John Doe 1, to tell Victim 1 that she needed to stay after class.
Victim 1 advised that this occurred during a break after class but before the lunch period.
Victim 1 reported that she did stay after class. During this time, Victim 1 reported that
Mr. Drake cornered Victim 1 in his class room, held her hands to the sides, and started
sniffing down her neck. She stated that he then whispered to her that "he was ready to
finally get her alone and was glad it was this way." Victim 1 stated Mr. Drake tried to
remove her shirt and whispered to her to unbutton her pants. She stated she was so
scared that she could not react. She stated he turned her body around and pushed his
body against her back and was sniffing her hair and trying to remove her pants. Victim 1
stated Mr. Drake had his pants undone and forced her hands onto his privates. She stated
that at this same time, he tried to put his hands inside her pants and underwear. Victim 1
stated she was still too scared to say anything. During this encounter, Victim 1 stated the
classroom phone rang. Victim 1 stated that the phone ringing seemed to spook Mr.
Drake. She stated that she was able to get out of the room when the phone rang. When
she left the classroom, Victim 1 stated she went to the bathroom, locked herself in a stall,
and began to vomit. During the interview, Victim 1 stated that she feels that if the phone
had not rung, he may have continued to touch her, and possibly would have raped her.
Victim 1 stated that, on the day of the incident, a classmate, John Doe 1, knew that Mr.
Drake had stopped her before she could leave the room and that she was the last student
in the room when John Doe 1 left.


On March 22, 2019, an interview was performed With a classmate of Victim 1, identified
as John Doe 1. John Doe 1 stated that, sometime after the Snowball Dance, students in
his class were leaving the room for lunch when Mr. Drake asked him to relay a message
to Victim 1. He stated that Mr. Drake told him to tell Victim 1 that Mr. Drake wanted to
speak to Victim 1 after class. John Doe 1 stated that Victim 1 remained in the classroom
as the other students left for the lunchroom. John Doe 1 stated that he went to the
lunchroom as well. Approximately 5-10 minutes later, John Doe 1 stated that he observed
Victim 1 enter the lunchroom upset and crying. John Doe 1 stated that he was not at her
lunch table so he did not know why Victim 1 was upset. John Doe 1 added that he has
observed Mr. Drake watch Victim 1 walk into class on several occasions While staring at
Victim 1's butt. John Doe 1 stated that students in the classroom knew about this
behavior and that it was commonly talked about. John Doe 1 stated that he did observe a
separate incident where Mr. Drake place his hand on Victim 1's butt. John Doe 1 stated
that Mr. Drake tried to make it look accidental, but that John Doe 1 believed that Mr.
Drake touch Victim 1 intentionally. John Doe 1 stated Victim 1 pulled her body away
from Mr. Drake when he touched her, and quickly left the classroom. John Doe 1 could
not give an exact date of this incident, but did state that it occurred after the Snowball
Dance.


On April 8, 2019, at approximately 11:15 AM, I spoke With William T. Drake at the
Police Station. I read Mr. Drake his Miranda Rights and Waiver of Rights. Mr. Drake
stated he understood his rights, signed the Waiver of Rights and advised that he was
willing to make a statement. I advised Mr. Drake of the additional allegations that had
been made by the Victim. Mr. Drake was already aware of these allegations, having
spoken to Kathy Hodge, Indiana Department 0f Child Services prior to speaking With
me. Mr. Drake denied all the allegations made against him by the Victim. Mr. Drake
stated he did not make any physical contact with the Victim or any other student(s). Mr.
Drake claims he did not remember having the Victim stay after class on the day in
question as stated by Victim 1 and John Doe 1. Mr. Drake stated he could not think of
anything that would cause Victim 1 to report What she reported.


Affiant states that William T. Drake is an adult over the age of eighteen.
This affidavit of Probable Cause is made for the purpose of establishing that probable
cause exists for the issuance of an arrest warrant for William T. Drake for the criminal
offense of Sexual Misconduct With A Minor, I.C. 35-42-4-9(b)(1), a Level 5 Felony.
A11 of the events described herein occurred in Wayne County, Indiana.
I affirm under the penalties for perjury, as specified in I.C. 35-44.1-2-1, that the foregoing
representations are true, this 2nd day 0f May, 2019

DOXPOP SHOWS ARREST WARRANT FOR LONG-TIME HAGERSTOWN TEACHER, COACH

(Hagerstown, IN)--The organization Doxpop today on Friday morning was displaying what appears to be an active arrest warrant for a long-time Hagerstown teacher and coach on a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.  According to the document on doxpop.com, Wayne Circuit Court Judge David Kolger has found probable cause for the issuance of a warrant against William Drake, who uses his middle name - Tom.  According to a biography on the Nettle Creek School website, Drake has been with the school for 40 years and is the winningest football coach in Hagerstown history.  The specific charge against Drake is Sexual Misconduct With A Minor But Committed By A Person At Least 21 Years Old.  That’s a Level 5 Felony, which is a relatively low-level felony.  Details of what Drake is alleged to have done are not included in the warrant.  Drake had not yet been taken into custody as of 6 o’clock Friday morning.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON ATV's ON COUNTY ROADS SET FOR 24th

(Wayne County, IN)--The 24th of this month is when a public hearing will take place about allowing all-terrain vehicles on Wayne County roads.  The ordinance would allow ATV’s, golf carts, and snowmobiles on county roads, but would not include the city of Richmond or other towns.  Riders would still have to have a driver’s license and insurance.  About half of Indiana’s counties allow off-road vehicles in some form.  Wayne County Commissioners could vote on the ordinance after the public portion of the meeting.

PREBLE COUNTY SHERIFF: MORE DEPUTIES NEEDED

(Preble County, OH)--Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson says the county is in need of more deputies.  He’s requested an additional $131,000 to hire new deputies and relieve the strain on those already working.  That addition would not require a tax increase.  The shortage has, at times, forced the sheriff himself to go on patrol.  A similar request was turned down last November.  Commissioners will take up the issue again on Monday.

CHILD ABUSE IN WAYNE COUNTY TRENDING DOWNWARD

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in Wayne County is trending downward.  According to new numbers from the state, Wayne County had 147 new cases of child abuse and neglect in the first half of this year.  That’s a modest five-percent drop compared to the first half of last year.  Wayne County had 23 cases this June, and that’s less than half of the 50 cases it had in June of 2018.

RIBBON CUT ON DOWNTOWN RICHMOND CONSTRUCTION

(Richmond, IN)--In a prepared statement, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said Wednesday that construction in downtown Richmond goes beyond building new roads – it’s about strengthening the entire community.  A ceremonial ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday to recognize the completion of the $24 million project.  "It has been a long, arduous process.  The community was under construction fatigue, but the end result has made it worth it," said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow.  INDOT representatives were on hand and said that early returns on the panel project on South A Street were good.

PIZZA DELIVERY DRIVER ROBBED AT GUNPOINT

(Richmond, IN)--Police are looking for a man who robbed a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint overnight.  A delivery had been ordered late Tuesday night for a home in the 500 block of South 11th.  It was later determined that that house was vacant.  When the driver arrived, a man brandished a handgun, demanded money, and then fled down an alley.  The only description of the suspect that’s become available so far is that he was a black male wearing a U.S. Army shirt.  The delivery driver was not hurt.

OVERNIGHT GARAGE FIRE LIKELY ARSON

(Richmond, IN)--Investigators will be looking for what are likely arsonists after two overnight fires in Richmond.  Three different fires broke out in less than half an hour early Wednesday morning.  A trash receptacle was set on fire on North 13th.  Then, a few minutes later, a detached garage was set on fire about a block away.  Witnesses saw people running from the scene of that fire.  There’s no word yet on the amount of damage to the garage.  No injuries were reported.

FIREWORKS COMPLAINTS MINIMAL AFTER RPD WARNING

(Richmond, IN)--Most Richmond residents appear to have heeded the warning from a Richmond police captain about fireworks.  Early Monday morning, an RPD captain posted on social media that fireworks would no longer be tolerated and that the 4th of July is over.  Wayne County dispatchers now say that there was only a couple of fireworks complaint calls late Monday night and into Tuesday morning.  There’s no word yet on whether or not any citations have actually been handed out since the warning was issued.

RIBBON-CUTTING TO RECOGNIZE CONSTRUCTION COMPLETION

(Richmond, IN)--A ribbon-cutting ceremony has been set for Wednesday to recognize the completion of downtown Richmond street construction.  INDOT Commissioner Joe McGinness and Richmond Mayor Dave Snow will take part in the event at 1 Wednesday afternoon at the Model T Museum.  The $24 million project was part of Governor Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Roads program.

SHORTER ROUTE ADDED TO REID RIDE

(Richmond, IN)--Organizers on Tuesday will be working on finalizing plans for this year’s Reid ride.  The 11th bicycle ride through Wayne County is set for this Saturday morning.  This year, there’s a new option.  In addition to the traditional 25-mile route, there’s now a 14-mile route for riders who don’t want to go quite as far.  Both routes will wind their way through the Fountain City and Webster area.  Up to a thousand riders are expected to take part in the event, which helps provide shoes to needy kids.

RPD CAPTAIN: TOLERANCE FOR FIREWORKS ENDS AT 3 PM MONDAY

(Richmond, IN)--Captain Bobby Lipps of the Richmond Police Department issued a statement about fireworks Monday morning.  Lipps made a social media post saying that 2nd Shift RPD will not be tolerant of fireworks being discharged.  Lipps said that, beginning at 3 o’clock Monday afternoon, anyone setting off fireworks will be issued a fine of $50 and the fireworks will be confiscated.  He ended the post by saying that the 4th of July is over.  Indiana state law says that fireworks can be set off until 11 o’clock at night year-round, but that guideline can be overridden by local ordinance.  Dispatchers said the latest fireworks complaint overnight  Sunday night came in at around 11:30.

RPD LOOKS TO RETURN ITEMS STOLEN FROM VEHICLES

(Richmond, IN)--Late last week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point reported that Charles Tucker and Taylor Glander of Richmond had been arrested on meth-related charges.  Now, Richmond Police investigators say that Tucker and Glander have been responsible for a string of thefts.  Now, there’s an effort underway to get the stolen property back to its rightful owners.  Anyone who has had property taken from their vehicles since late May is being encouraged to contact RPD.

MAN JAILED FOR ATTACKING POLICE OFFICER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was in jail Friday morning after allegedly attacking a Richmond Police officer Thursday.  Officers came into contact with 31-year-old James Napier at the Genesis Apartments on South 23rd.  Napier was allegedly trying to enter a vehicle illegally and was then charged with felony battery on a police officer.  Napier is no stranger to the Wayne County Jail.  He was booked in three seperate times just last month.

PICKUP DRIVER COLLIDES WITH TRAIN

(Eaton, OH)--A pickup truck driver escaped injury at around 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon when that pickup truck and a train collided on North Barron Street in Eaton.  The pickup sustained front-end damage and was pushed a short distance down the tracks.  Investigators have not yet said if the driver attempted to go around the cross arm or released other factors that led to the crash.

IVY TECH'S CHANCELLOR ACCEPTS NEW ROLE; SEARCH FOR REPLACEMENT BEGINS

(Richmond, IN)--His job performance as Chancellor of Ivy Tech in Richmond has been described as wonderful, and now Chad Bolser is taking on an even bigger role.  Bolser has been named the Vice President of Operations for Indiana’s southern campuses.  He’ll oversee operations in nine southern Indiana cities, including Richmond.  Dr. Stacy Atkinson will serve as the Acting Chancellor while a national search for Bolser’s replacement begins.

RPD MAKES ROBBERY ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department has released more information on the robbery Tuesdayday morning at the Phillips 66 gas station at 18th and West Main Street.  RPD now says the suspect is a Hispanic male who fled to the south.  Investigators also say they’re treating Tuesday’s robbery and the one that occurred Sunday at the Conoco station on South 9th as unconnected incidents.  The suspect in that robbery was described as a tall, white male.  At 1:30 Wednesday morning, Jacob Richardson was booked into the Wayne County Jail and charged with robbery.  There’s no word yet on whether or not his arrest is connected to either of the two recent robberies.

RICHMOND'S PHILLIPS 66 ROBBED AT GUNPOINT

(Richmond, IN)--There was another robbery of a Richmond gas station Tuesday morning.  It happened at around 1:30 Tuesday morning at the Phillips 66 at the corner of 18th and West Main Streets.  Scanner traffic indicates that the clerk told police a man wearing dark clothing produced a small black handgun.  Officers checked the nearby Westwood Apartments.  A black hoodie was located by a church in the 1800 block of South West A, but no suspect could be located.  Less than 48 hours ago, the Conoco Station on South 9th was robbed.

ORDINANCE WOULD PREVENT RESIDENTIAL SEMI PARKING

(Richmond, IN)--A proposal went before Richmond Common Council Monday night to restrict semi cabs from parking in private driveways in residential areas.  Bruce Wissel introduced the proposal after receiving complaints from some people who say semis run all night while parked in driveways.  It brought this response from another council member..."we allow the cars that they fix up in their yards.  What's the difference there?"  Wissel also called it a safety issue and said semis could park at Walmart or Love’s.  The ordinance has been referred to the Planning Commission.

AFFIDAVIT: MURDER VICTIM WAS STABBED 14 TIMES

(Richmond, IN)--According to an affidavit that became available Monday, 39-year-Kristy Sewell stabbed 28-year-old Kirsten Holland 14 times at a home on South 5th in Richmond.  Holland, who shares a baby with Sewell’s husband, Kenosis, was found dead.  Other details revealed in the affidavit indicate there is surveillance video from inside the home of Sewell washing her hands and then stepping over the body to exit the home.  She was found at her mother’s house on Arba Pike.  Sewell had allegedly stabbed her husband in the back less than two weeks before last Friday’s fatal stabbing.

INVESTIGATORS WORK TO IDENTIFY GAS STATION ROBBER

(Richmond, IN)--Investigators will be reviewing surveillance video Monday as they try to identify the suspect in a robbery that occurred at a Richmond gas station late Sunday afternoon.  The suspect entered the Conoco station near South 9th and L at around 4:45 Sunday afternoon.  No mention of a weapon was included in the initial report.  After the robbery, he fled around the back of the store.  A police canine attempted to track the man but was unsuccessful.  No one inside was hurt.  The suspect is described only as a tall, white male.

TWO JAILED AFTER SHOTS FIRED

(Richmond, IN)--Two Richmond men were in jail Monday morning after shots were fired on Parry Street over the weekend.  Officers responded to the area late Saturday night.  Scanner traffic indicates one man fired at another who was in the street.  There were no injuries.  29-year-old Thomas Richardson, who lives at the address where the incident took place, has been charged with criminal recklessness.  22-year-old Angeloe Boyer was also taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

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